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Saturday, 8 January 2011

FAD FOOTWEAR :Friend or Foe Pas?

I remember as a kid I avidly coveted a pair of clogs,first seen on my Swedish friend Tina's feet. I loved the clumpy hollow sound they made whenever she walked and they were a far cry from the Kickers we were made to wear and loathed.My mom never understood the attraction;understandable since growing up in Alexandria,Egypt a clog would have been used for killing roaches and doing odd jobs around the house.But she soon caved in and I became the proud owner of a pair of patent yellow leather clogs that I wore with pseudo Swedish pride.
Years on and clog free,I attended boarding school in Switzerland . The subject of clogs amazingly came up one night as our in house director gave us our welcome speech.Each winter ,from the months of January till March, was spent up in the mountains and we senior girls inhabited a gorgeous chalet with wooden floors and paneling with nothing for miles around (so no one could hear us scream...) apart from the wee train station straight out of the Alamo. So due to all the wood,it was understandable that clogs were verboten,the sound would ricochet like gunfire and deafen the entire population. We were also told,while I am at it,that no self respecting female member of this school should be seen smoking in the village streets, chewing gum like a cow or standing under a red light after dark....Natch! 
I never revisited the idea of clogs until last summer when suddenly they became very in vogue and Chanel brought out a rather vertiginous version at an also vertiginous price.The battle was half won,at that price they would never find a niche within my wardrobe and I would probably be avoiding a trip to the A&E...Bonus. But one always wants to buy what is both "in" and "over priced" just to partake in that wonderful circle of tomfoolery,so I decided to check out Ebay and see if there would be any for the taking and there were,quite a few in fact,sold as new or "worn once and broke my ankle"but most still up there price wise. Maybe the sellers were desperate to get their money back or buy back their pride,after all there is nothing chic about biting the dust from on high. Did you not see the episode of "Sex and the City" when Carrie tripped and flew across the shop floor in Dior?! Mortificado! 
I had never heard of the Masai Barefoot Technology line of shoes but my sister had read about them and dragged me into the sports shop on Kings road to try them on.They were created in 1996  and the company's philosophy is "to keep the body in continual motion" after having studied the Masai. The fact that "they can walk barefoot on natural and uneven ground" helped them make the discovery that "instability had amazing health benefits."Well if motion sickness is anything to go by,I would rather walk on solid ground with my flat soles than rock my way down the high street on what can only be described as a pair of ink blotter rockers strapped to each foot.Hideous...although they have since improved the look I still can't abide them. The Masai are a beautiful,lithe,majestic people that inspire calm and inner strength,I cannot see how the shoes represent them in anyway and I find myself singing: "Weebols wobble but they won't fall down.." when looking at a pair of those shoes in whichever shape or form they now come in. Other than my sister who has since sold hers on Ebay,I have a dear friend in London who has a pair in a nasty shade of concrete grey. I have had the pleasure of walking down Kings road many a time with her as she rocked and rolled alongside me. Sometimes she would skid,trip or suddenly be pitched forward and come to an abrupt halt like someone suddenly slamming on the brakes...I didn't know whether to act like nothing was up or cry out: "Timberrrrr!"
Marcia Kilgore of "Bliss" and "Soap and Glory"fame decided to create a fashionable alternative to the flip flop that would enhance your physic and cure certain ills,she aptly named them: Fitflops. Here comes the science: "They are biomechanically engineered to help you tone and tighten your leg muscles while you walk"in plain speaking: to get your junk out of the trunk. They also "relieve chronic back pain,sciatica and osteoarthritis..."I would much rather get my flop fit at the gym and wear my simple,cheap as chips Havaianas flip flops that don't promise you a darn thing and therefore won't disappoint.


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